Wendy Newcomer

Wendy Newcomer

BandAmericanaCountry

With a performance reminiscent of a young Emmylou Harris, Wendy Newcomer debuts her beautiful voice on an album that captures her love for Americana and rockin' roots country...fun, edgy, thoughtful and haunting.

Biography

When people first discover Wendy Newcomer, they know they’ve found something special. Perhaps it’s the dynamic way she uses her sensual alto, or the charismatic way she concentrates on conveying every nuance of a lyric, or the hip way she blends striking originals and unexpected cover songs into a stylistic statement all her own.

In the end, what really sets Newcomer apart is her ability to blend all these things into one unforgettable package. She has a talent for creating a balance of emotion and elegance, of passion and taste. As Billy Block, host of the popular Western Beat radio show has said, “When I saw Wendy Newcomer sing for the first time, it reminded me of watching Emmylou Harris back in the late ‘70s.”

Newcomer’s distinct way of drawing on the most time-honored strengths of country music and endowing them with contemporary cool has drawn enthusiastic support from so many corners. She’s appeared on the Grand Ole Opry (a personal highlight for her) and opened for Delbert McClinton, John Anderson, Johnny Paycheck, Lee Roy Parnell, Sammy Kershaw, Aaron Tippin and others.

As with Harris, who she counts as one of her heroes, Newcomer’s respect for a good song stands at the center of her artistry. “I’ve always admired singers who make a career out of great songs,” says Newcomer, a strong writer herself who’s co-written with such significant Nashville tunesmiths as Karen Staley and Ron Harbin. “Artists like Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt and Patty Loveless always impressed me in how they can do something very traditional but also reach far beyond that and find a great song from a surprising source. They can do stone country or folk songs, then turn around and rock out.”

Newcomer wants to cast herself in that same mold. “I’m a country singer,” she says, “and I connect most with the real rootsy side of country music. I’m drawn to traditional country, but I’m also just as inspired by artists like the Rolling Stones, Chris Isaak and Tom Petty.”

She’s already received critical praise for both her boldness and her good taste. The Nashville Scene, the city’s pre-eminent weekly, said of her: “Wendy Newcomer’s striking contemporary country style is more West Coast than Third Coast. She wields her powerfully expressive alto with subtle panache on literate originals and well-chosen covers, including hidden gems by Van Morrison, Elvis Costello and others.”

A native of tiny Farmer, N.C., Newcomer grew up loving the traditional country music of Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn, the early rock of the Stones and the Beatles and the elegant pop of the Carpenters. She began writing songs right after high school. In college she was invited by her uncle Ronnie Robinson to become lead singer in his popular club band, Steel Country. The band played every weekend at honky tonks, biker bars, private parties and Moose Lodges across the Carolinas.

Soon, Newcomer found herself in demand as a vocalist, recording song demos and eventually encouraged by a studio owner to move to Nashville in 1995. Embraced by the Nashville songwriting community, she worked her way up through the system of club gigs, co-writing appointments and demo sessions. Newcomer knows the hard work it takes to build and break a career. Through it all she’s stayed focused on her primary goal: making a life for herself as a professional singer and songwriter.

“Music is so vital to my life,” she says, “and I think it plays such an enormous role in so many lives. “We’re all trying to get through and be strong, and we put our game face on to survive. But when I’m on stage, I can drop all that and be as vulnerable or as emotional or as angry or as kick-ass as I want to be. I love how songs give us a chance to go to an emotional place we may not go in a conversation. You can be more open, and it gives us all a chance to relate to that emotion. I love how music helps us all deal. That’s just so powerful to me.”

Discography

"Raised on Promises" EP, October 2004
Radio play:Western Beat Radio show, syndicated weekly to 140 stations nationwide

Set List

In an effort to keep each show fresh, Wendy constantly evaluates and adjusts her set lists, always building her shows around a core group of fan favorites. Past sets have included:

Destitute Heart
I Need Love
Night Wind
Goin’ Til You’re Gone
Regrets
Off the Wall
All Over Now
The Apartment Song
Moment Of Weakness Too Strong
Long Way to Fall
Killin’ The Blues
I’m Not Sleepy
Train Without A Whistle
American Girl
My Bucket’s Got a Hole In It
I Can Not Give My Heart To You
Never Gonna Heal This Way
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While the bulk of Wendy’s material features original songs, she’s known for taking the occasional cover song and giving each one her own special twist. Some examples of songs she's covered:

American Girl- Tom Petty (on her new CD, "Raised on Promises")
The Apartment Song- Tom Petty
All Over Now- The Rolling Stones
My Bucket's Got a Hole in it: Hank Williams, Sr.
I'm Not Sleepy- Chris Isaac

Typically, Wendy 's sets last anywher